How ’bout them Astros!!


Today feels like one of those Loel Passe moments. Loel was the main broadcaster for the Houston Buffs and was brought across to the Houston Colt .45s and then the Astros when Judge Roy Hofheinz and partners persuaded the MLB to hand them a franchise (so they would not start-up a competing league). Loel was a good old country boy and phrases like “he breezed him one more time”, “hot ziggity dog and sassafras tea” and “now you chuckin’ in there” would pour out as smooth and thick as that tea.

But ol’ Loel, who broadcast with Gene Elston from 1962 to 1976 was selling more than back country phrases. He was selling optimism back in a time when the team was a loooooooong way away from their first playoff appearance in 1980. Every can of corn the Astros hit was a fence scraper, every hump back liner they whacked was a screaming line drive, and any fastballs hit off them was blind man’s luck.

And so today we are giving away optimism. But it is not the over-hyped optimism that Mr. Passe passed along to starving fans. No, this is optimism built on reality. Look at all there is to be happy about with your hometown team.

  • After two terrific starts out of nowhere by rookies Jose Urquidy and Rogelio Armenteros, the Astros have been able to string together a 6 game winning streak against the Angels, Rangers and A’s.
  • Their 11-1 beat down of the A’s Monday night allowed the Astros to stretch what had only a few days been a 4.5 game lead in the division up to a 7.5 game lead over the A’s. With two more games against the Athletics coming up – the on fire Astros could throw a wrench in an Oakland machine that has been hot itself the last few weeks.
  • Super rookie Yordan Alvarez – He just jacked out his 11th HR and knocked in his 35th runs in his 30th game placing him in a neighborhood that a young Albert Pujols last populated.
  • Yuli Gurriel is so insanely hot you can feel it through your TV set. In his last 18 games he has 12 HRs and 26 RBIs.
  • Aledmys Diaz returned and hit a 3 run HR in his first game back. And as friend of the blog, Becky said, just wait until we get our SS Carlos Correa and his rib back!
  • And Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander and Wade Miley have been as good a top 3 in the rotation as you can find in the majors.
  • George Springer was on an MVP arc when he went down. Jose Altuve has been back on his MVP arc since he came back from his injury.
  • Michael Brantley has been brilliant and over-looked. He is the best pure hitter in a lineup seeping with talent.
  • Roberto Osuna has had a few blown saves but overall he and Ryan Pressly have been as good as you can find at the back of a bullpen. Add in a solid Will Harris, a mercurial Josh James and a heady Collin McHugh and the pen is overall tough.
  • Robinson Chirinos has been good even with a little slump lately, but he came through when they needed help and power earlier in the year.
  • And what everyone is counting on – the Astros’ front office will be working hard to bring in another arm or two to help this team get to the final goal.

So there is my optimistic, Loel Passe “How about them Astros” take.

What do you think?

96 comments on “How ’bout them Astros!!

  1. What do I think? I think Jake’s suspension – and then getting mercilessly boo-ed and maliciously beaned – has fueled quite a fire. Burn baby, burn!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Our GM filed his annual disclaimer again yesterday. You know, the one about the club already being strong enough to win the whole thing. Of course that’s true if everything goes right and the balls all bounce in our favor. Our man Luhnow obviously knows all this stuff. He wants the pitcher we all want, but we also know he will not pay more than what he thinks that pitcher is worth. Suddenly things feel pretty good. The line up sure has filled in nicely. Smith looks good. Collin pretty much looks himself. Suddenly Diaz seems likes an old friend. Who was that guy in April? Becky, I’m guessing we get the good Carlos back too. But all in all, I want that arm Luhnow wants. I agree with him.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Last night they showed a pie chart of Bailey’s pitches and the batting average against each one. He has been hit all season. When you look at the injured A’s, plus the suspension, it is a miracle they are at .500.

    The Astros have to fall completely apart to lose the division title.

    Like

    • Toy Cannon was only like 5′-9″ and 175 lbs, but man that guy had power. I think back to the upper deck Astrodome shot, the HR he hit onto the freeway at Crosley field and a straight out to centerfield (I think it was Forbes Field – might have been Connie Mack) that was like 460 ft to straight center and he cleared it by plenty

      Like

  4. When May began Diaz’s slash line was .205/.220/.436/.655.
    When he was injured in late May his slash line was .286/.321/.510/.821.
    He was huge in May and we have missed him.
    For him to come back and homer like he did in his first AB was an inspiration to this team.
    The Astros are a big deal.

    Like

  5. Houston defeated the Oakland Athletics 11-1. Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole won his 11th game of the season, striking out 11 batters. Meanwhile, Yordan Alvarez hit his 11th home run of the season, and Yuri Gurriel had three hits, including a home run, to extend his hitting streak to — you guessed it — 11 games. There were even more 11s. The Astros scored their 11th run in the third inning when the team batted around. Gurriel, who had two hits in the third, was the 11th batter of the inning when he drove in a run with a single to make it 11-0. At that point, it was the Astros’ 11th hit of the game.

    Elevens, oh my word. Is this true?

    Liked by 2 people

      • Since I just found out that 50 years ago, Buzz Aldrin took communion after landing on the moon, it’s more likely the epitome of sanity.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I’d never heard that Diane – must have been a deeply religious man.

        My favorite tongue in cheek moment about Buzz Aldrin was on the Big Bang Theory.
        People are harassing Howard Wolowitz, who gets to be an engineer astronaut, because all he does after returning from space is turn every conversation into something to do with space.
        So at the end of the show they have a youtube “video” of Buzz Aldrin: [Handing out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters] “Here’s a Milky Way. The Milky Way is a galaxy in space. I’ve been to space. “

        Like

  6. Oh and I somehow missed the guy leading them in HRs and OBP and tied for the lead in RBIs and who has really not been truly red hot this season (his best batting average for any one month is .275) Alex Bregman.

    Like

    • My opinion, based on watching every game is that it has been hard for Bregman to relax and let himself play baseball. I think he has been working so hard trying to do so much without his buddy Correa next to him. Even when he does smile, it looks as though he’s forcing it.
      So I predict that when Correa returns to SS, Alex will loosen up and things will flow properly with his hitting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel weird talking down a bit about a guy who is on pace for 117 runs, 42 HRs, 101 RBIs a .400 OBP and .937 OPS, but he can do more. He’s only hitting .190 with runners in scoring position and only hitting .171 in late and close situations (7th inning or later with a tied score, or one run lead, or the tying run at least on deck).
        I would like to say he will warm up with Correa back – but he has not warmed up with Springer, Altuve or Diaz back….yes I know he is playing quite a bit of SS with Carlos out – so maybe that is what is holding him back

        Like

  7. I am sorry, but I just have to quote this from the San Francisco Examiner this morning: “A Josh Reddick double and a Robinson Chirinos single brought up Aledmys Diaz, who took advantage the playing time he’s received in the wake of Carlos Correa’s bizarre massage injury, hitting a 3-run homer into the Crawford Boxes”.
    Good Lord! The article was about how the Athletics laid an egg. But, how bad can a reporter lay an egg? It was Diaz’s first AB in like two months!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s the reporter likely already out the door when the 27th out was recorded, having pressed send on his ipad, already enjoying a frosty one at the corner bar.

      Like

      • Apparently the frosty one wasn’t downed at a sports bar, or he might have known about Diaz’s injury. Even when I comment on this blog, I try to research what I’m saying, so as to not look as dumb as I am.
        But, he’s not the first journalist to get it wrong. It’s an epidemic.

        Like

      • Not many real sportswriters left. I should have expressed my point more clearly by simply saying “he mailed it in”. And he’s getting paid for not knowing what he’s talking about.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I once had a sub-contractor tell me there were three options on his work. 1. Price, 2 Quality, and 3 Speed. He then added, you get to pick 2 out of the 3.

        I think in the rush to be first with a story, proof reading has gone. And for sure, research left a long time ago.

        Like

  8. Follow up to the Jimmy Wynn discussion above – here he is hitting one out of Forbes Field to centerfield where the fence was 457 feet away – so far away they stored the batting cage out there.

    Like

  9. Hinch wanted to bring Cy Sneed back up, and the lucky guy in the bullpen to get a 10 day vacation was Josh James. They needed to get a fresh arm, and didn’t want to send down a position player. How ’bout that inside the park homerun Yuli hit!! My take on Bregman is he tried to put this teaM on his back while the 3 musketeers were out on IL. Bregman literally eats, sleeps, and dreams baseball.
    He absolutely H A T E S to lose. When our complete team is back on the field, I think he will start playing with a smile on his face. He played loose in the All Star game…..and he smiled! Wade Miley is pitching a near perfect game. He’s our new Charlie Morton❤

    Like

  10. Was just listening to Baggy talking to Blum about the hitch in AB’s swing, dipping his shoulder, turning his head hitting all those popups & how frustrated AB is by it. Maybe this came about trying to launch HR’s. I’m willing to bet once he gets that hitch out his swing his numbers will improve that much more.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So are the replay guys in New York watching video of the same quality as the Jimmy Wynn Forbes Field home run?
    No point in reviewing plays if you aren’t going to get it right.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “@anthonyfenech
    Matt Boyd’s night: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, or, Forrest Whitley and Kyle Tucker.“

    Detroit Sports Writer being funny on Twitter

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I can’t remember the last time I saw two starting pitchers still going strong in the 8th inning. (I hope this jinxes Fiers)

    Like

  14. I bet you a dollar unless he gets too behind hitters…..Miley will go out for the 9th.!!! Keep your fingers crossed!

    Like

  15. It’s the first time all season I’ve been surprised by a Hinch move. I was thinking Miley gave us 8 beautiful innings and then Pressly would get the last three outs tonight, saving Osuna for tomorrow. Now we are looking at extending the pen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tend to agree with you but to throw my 2 cents in…
      I understand why Hinch let Miley start the 9th but I thought bringing in Osuna was a mistake. Osuna is a strikeout/flyball pitcher. He gave up a homerun in on Sunday against Texas (it didn’t hurt us). We need a ground ball to get a double play. Maybe better to pitch to the situation rather than go with the norm (closer). A game we should have won. I know Miley was upset at himself but he didn’t give up the gopher ball.

      Like

  16. I probably shouldn’t be blogging this morning, after last night’s game. So I will move to a new subject.
    Moves I could see the Astros making.
    Trade a young prospect for Stephen Vogt.
    Go ahead and bite the bullet for Robbie Ray or Marcus Stroman.
    Work some magic for a decent reliever.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Listening to Blummer and Baggie last night talk about how hard it is to time up a pitcher like Fiers, I thought back to the quote from Warren Spahn. “Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing.”

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Tyler Ivey is finally back with the Hooks in NW Arkansas and is slated to start tonight’s game.
    Also, Whitley has joined the Fayetteville Woodpeckers and may pitch today.
    Maybe now would be a good time to point out that Brandon Bailey has been listed as active on the Hooks roster, even though he hasn’t pitched since July 7th.

    Like

    • I wonder if Whitley would send a Woodpecker hat out here to me if I asked? That would should some humanitarian bent in the kid.

      Like

  19. Man, this is one ugly start for our team. We look like last night’s game took the fight right out of us. Somebody, hit Jake!

    Like

  20. Blum & TK discussed where to slot CC upon his return. Interesting subject. Does Hinch upset the apple cart by slotting CC between his hottest hitters or does he push him back, say 7th. Like they said, it’s a nice problem to have. I think YA remains in the cleanup spot for now at least. CC’s stats were good pre-inj but so was Diaz and look where he was slotted upon his return.
    Being a regular who needs reps it’s hard to imagine him being pushed back unless he struggles upon his return

    Like

  21. Yordan Alvarez’s days as a prospect ended today and his replacement moves into the Top 30 at #19 and it’s Josh Rojas.

    Like

      • My grandmother would always tell me I was in hot water. Then she would say I was on thin ice. I was always asking her to make up her mind. I think Bregman is battling a bit of confusion. He’ll figure it out just when we need him to.

        Like

  22. Bregman’s not broken. He’s in a slump.
    Osuna isn’t broken. He’s in a slump.
    Almost every player on this team has been in at least one slump this season.
    The reason there is no movement in players is because bad teams are asking too much for their players and good teams don’t want to overpay.
    The Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees are way over their spending thingy, where they get penalized.
    MLB has Joshua Rojas rated a 40 prospect. Ridiculous.
    Astros top draft pick C Korey Lee had to be taken out of the game because of an injury for Tri City in the 1st inning tonight.
    JB Bukauskas was really good as the second tandem guy tonight for CC. 5IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, no runs, 7 Ks. Came into the game down 1-0 and was the winner of a 3-1 Hooks victory.
    Seattle beat Texas tonight. The more teams who are out of it, the bigger the selection of players and the better the deals will be.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Kent is like the Mike Fiers of our minor league system. When he is good, he can be very good. But man, when he is bad . . . it gets ugly quick. So far, alas, Kent has had a tendency to be really, really bad even more often, and to a greater extent, than Fiers did. Let’s hope he turns that corner!

        Like

  23. When Altuve gets three hits, and Verlander pitches, the Astros are really, really hard to beat. Even with Bregman, Brantley and Alvarez all laying big old O-fer eggs.

    Like

  24. This WHOLE team is sad that Tony got cut. He ALWAYS did whatever Hinch asked of him. I just hope this doesn’t make him hate the Astros like some former players do. I’m just sad as can be over this news. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • When you lose a guy who has been with you as long as Tyler was, then on the very next day find out that a guy who has been at the center of clubhouse esprit de corps, it has got to be a kick in the gut to the morale of the team. Let’s just hope it is offset quickly by the arrival of someone they all want to see wearing orange and blue, who will help them go on a tear that last through the WS.

      So . . . who can we say is coming for dinner?

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s